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Ohio right hand pitcher, Tyler Peck (6), steps to pitch the ball during a game against Central Michigan at Bob Wren Stadium, March 23, 2024, in Athens.

Baseball: Ohio snaps losing streak, wins series at Eastern Michigan 

Entering the weekend, Ohio was in desperate need of a victory. Having lost nine straight games, it’s hard to imagine a worse stretch for a team that has seen moderate success over the last couple of seasons. 

After falling in game one of a three-game weekend series, Ohio’s losing streak had reached nine straight, having not won a game in nearly a month. After a game-one defeat, the Bobcats returned to the field on Saturday and battled their way to a victory. With the weight of the losing streak off their shoulders, the Bobcats battled again on Sunday to win a momentous game that gave the team its first series win since March 17. 

Here is all you need to know from the weekend:

Game One:

Ohio did not get off on the right foot in game one of the series against Eastern Michigan. It was much of the same things that the team had seen in the duration of its at-the-time eight-game losing streak: an inability to limit run production from the opposition and an offense that produced runs but not enough to make up for a lackluster pitching effort. 

Ohio went on to fall in game one by a final of 15-6 after never being able to recover from an early 5-run deficit. 

Similarly to the last couple of series, Dillon Masters took the ball to start game one of a Saturday doubleheader. Masters has had an up-and-down season so far, but his start at Eastern Michigan was not one of his best. In five innings pitched, Masters surrendered 11 hits and three walks which accounted for 7 earned runs. When Masters left the game in the sixth inning, the team was trailing only 7-5, a sum that very well could have put the offense in a position to make a late-game comeback. 

The bullpen couldn’t do much to keep the team in the game, no matter how well the offense played. Both Luke Olson and Patrick Straub came in and surrendered a combined total of 6 runs in two innings in relief of Masters, essentially ending any comeback hopes for the offense. 

On the mound for Eastern Michigan was Bobby Jones who had a solid outing with seven innings pitched, 10 strikeouts and 5 runs allowed. 

The offense did what it could, producing 6 runs at the plate. Alex Finney led the way with three hits and two RBIs. 

Game Two:

With Tim Knapschaefer on the mound in game two, Ohio was able to settle into the game without facing any real threat from Eastern Michigan until sixth inning. Ohio went on to win game two by a final of 7-4, snapping its nine-game losing streak. 

Ohio got on the board early with a couple of RBIs that included a triple from Trenton Neuer to bring home Bryce Smith. Ohio held a 2-0 lead for the first five innings of the game.

Knapschaefer was near flawless in his fifth start of the season, where he did not allow a run until the sixth inning. He finished with five strikeouts after allowing only 2 runs, each coming across in the sixth inning. 

Entering the ninth, Ohio held a narrow 1-run lead of 5-4 after each team tallied 2 runs in the eighth inning. 

Ohio was able to load the bases in the top of the ninth with nobody out after two walks and a hit-by-pitch to begin the inning. Freshman Pauly Mancino stepped to the plate and hit into a fielder's choice to bring home Ohio’s first run of insurance, extending its lead to 2. The very next batter, Jackson Cauthron, was able to do the same, hitting into a fielder’s choice to bring home a run. 

Coming out of the top of the ninth, Ohio held a 7-4 lead with three outs to get to win the game. 

Zach Weber trotted the mound for his third inning of work in the ninth inning. Weber, after struggling a bit in the eighth, was dominant in the ninth, setting Eastern Michigan’s offense down in order one-two-three. 

Game Three:

With the losing streak in the rearview, Blake Gaskey got the starting nod for Ohio in game three of the series. Similar to Knapschaefer, Gaskey was dominant in his start and effectively held Eastern Michigan's offense early on in the game. 

After a scoreless first inning by both teams, Ohio came to the plate in the second and put up 5 total runs after nine total batters came to the plate. 3 of the team's 5 total runs in the inning came from a 3-RBI double by Gideon Antle, extending his season total to 38. 

With a 5-run lead, Ohio just needed to play defense to come out with the series win. 

Gaskey gave the team the longest start of the weekend, pitching 7 and 2/3 innings, allowing only 2 runs while collecting five strikeouts. With a 7-run lead, Tyler Peck came in to pitch the ninth inning where he allowed Eastern Michigan to score 2 runs which was not enough to overcome the deficit. Ohio went on to win the game 9-4.


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